Problem Solving Inc.

2019 Lightning Talk


In terms of speed and complexity, the processes of a large corporation are comparable to the bureaucracy of a mid-sized city. This governance apparatus was first put in place to ensure the quality of millions of products shipped every year as well as the wellbeing of tens of thousands of workers: what will happen when the number of products sold ceases to be the one single metric to measure success? We are going to explore how focus on culture and values enables a small agile team to have real impact with different departments within the same company. Aligning at the beginning of a project on principles – for example, be truly customer-centric – helps co-create with teams open to risk-taking, eventually enabling financial results as well as investment in innovation. We will go through the learning curve of a team that sells good design as good for business, thanks also to a 5 steps-problem-solving process tailored for the needs and wants of a specific working environment and industry. Some teams we left happy and with newfound focus, some others we couldn’t convince to adopt an agile mindset; some success criteria we found, some others are yet to be defined. After all, we don’t strive to be right every time, but rather being biased for action and maximise learning. We like to think we are in the business of building the future and not trying to predict it.

About the speaker(s)

Nicola Plaisant is a Senior Strategic Designer at Mercedes-Benz Digital Business Development. Worked on operating systems, everyday mobility and service innovation at Nokia and Here Technologies. Lives and works in Berlin, loves digital products but whenever possible prefers to work with pen and paper. Wants a sustainable future for his two daughters and loves to take long walks with his camera and get lost in cities and outdoors alike.